Monday, October 31, 2011

Korean Drama Fan Diaries: 8 Must-Do's in Macau To Relive Memorable Moments From Boys Over Flowers

Due to the extreme popularity of Korean dramas, you may have noticed that there is now more variety in their location shoots than ever before.

For instance, the hugely popular Korean drama Boys over Flowers (2009) was shot not only in Seoul, but also in New Caledonia and Macau.

What I love most about this particular technique is that the whole production team was able to weave these places into the story in a seamless fashion resulting to authentic, romantic and downright memorable moments that remain google-worthy up to this point.

So when I read the article entitled Hallyu Hotspots by Gigi Yia which appeared on Sparkling Magazine, I was inspired to make my own list of sights in Macau as portrayed in my favorite K-drama Boys Over Flowers. 

Here's my list of 8 Must-Do's in Macau to help you relive several unforgettable moments from Boys Over Flowers. 

Remember: Simply click on the photos to be directed to the complete posts.

1.  Ride The Gondola At The Venetian Macau.




Hop aboard the lovely gondola just like what Geum Jandi and F3 did in the latter part of Episode 13 all the way to the opening of Episode 14.

With the gondolier singing the Italian crossover classic "Con Te Partiro" popularized by Andrea Bocelli in 1995, the three friends enjoyed a wonderful diversion after Jandi's mugging incident.

Feel Gu Jun Pyo's heartache when he secretly checked out a snapshot of Jandi and Ji Hoo aboard the gondola from his phone.

2. Take A Snapshot Of The Zaia Musical At The Venetian Macau.



Relive all the fun and carefree moments of Jandi and Ji Hoo when they watched this certified Cirque de Soleil hit.

If you don't have the time to spare nor the budget of at least MOP 388 or Php 2067 (Reserve C seating) to shell out, simply take photos of the ginormous set pieces placed all around the resort hotel.

How To Get There:
Take the free shuttle to the Venetian Macau or if you are in a hurry, just ride the cab and tell the driver to drop you off The Venetian. Flag down rate is around Php 98.

3.  Buy Some Delicious Beef Jerky From Stores Around Avenida de Almeida  Ribeiro.


Sample several jerky strips just like Geum Jandi and Ha Jae Kyung in episode 13.

Almost all stalls sell authentic jerky, but in the area, one of the most popular stores seems to be Pasteleria Ko Kei.

How To Get There:
Take the same route towards the Ruins of St. Paul. You will see the bakery at the right side of the narrow street leading to the ruins.

4.  Take A Bite Into Tea Plus Macau's Egg Tarts.



Sink your teeth into the same egg tarts that Jandi and Ji Hoo bought from this popular stall at the start of  episode 15.

If you're with your significant other, who knows, the staff might regard you as a cute couple earning you an extra egg tart each for free--just like what happened to Jandi and Ji Hoo when they were mistaken as newlyweds.

How To Get There:
From Senado Square, take the route towards the Ruins of St. Paul. You will see the stall standing at the right side of  Rue de Palha.

5.  Stroll Around Senado Square.


Reminisce the time when Ji Hoo became a street minstrel at the end of Episode 14 into the start of Episode15.

Here, he exchanged his egg tarts for a chance to play the guitar and earn some bucks to help pay for Jandi's calligraphy.

How to Get There:
From the Macau Ferry Terminal, take the free shuttle headed to Hotel Grand Lisboa. From there, you can walk to Senado for under 15 minutes. If you're not into walking, take a cab outside the terminal and simply tell the driver to take you to Senado Square.

6.  Visit the Ruins of St. Paul Cathedral.


Take a historical tour of the famed Ruins just like Jandi and Ji Hoo in episode 14.

Here, they decided to cancel their flight and stayed at least one more day to explore the many wonders of Macau.

How To Get There:
From Senado Square, go through Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro until you see the Ruins of St. Paul at the very end.

7.  Stop By The Macau Tower. 



Discover the many fascinating facets of Macau when you visit or simply look at the iconic steeple of the Macau Tower just like Jandi and Ji Hoo in episode 14.

How To Get There:
From the Macau Ferry Terminal, hop off the free shuttle to Hotel Grand Lisboa Macau. Walk towards Senado Square and there, wait for either Bus 23 or 32. After 20 minutes or so, you'll arrive at Macau Tower.

8.  Enjoy A Soothing Cup Of The Lotus Flower Tea.


Enjoy a delicious cup of flower tea just like Geum Jandi in Episode 14.

During steeping, Jandi was amazed at the blooming flower tea during the whole steeping process.

Where To Buy It:
Explore tea stores along Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro for the flower tea of your choice.

Happy trip!





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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Olay Total Effects & Olay Natural White Healthy Fairness Day Cream: Hit or Miss?

Although I was tempted to consider Olay Total Effects a few years back, I never got to the point of actually buying one.

I was using three moisturizers at the time: Derma E DMAE Creme and Jason Ester-C Creme which I bought from Healthy Options and Pervil Magic Creme, a drugstore brand which I deemed as my official skin brightener.

As it turned out, it took forever to finish even one bottle up!

When I think about it, the closest I got to purchasing Olay was last year at SaSa in Hong Kong where an Olay Package featuring a big bottle of Olay and its cleansing foam variant was being sold for around Php 400--a 50% slash down from its Philippine SRP (suggested retail price).



Who would have predicted that a simple shampoo purchase with a mini-Olay as a freebie will finally allow me to put this product to the test?

As you very well know, Olay Total Effects claims that it fights the 7 signs of skin ageing namely:
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Age spots
  • Uneven texture
  • Dryness
  • Dullness
  • Pores
My Verdict After a Three-Week Test?
Olay Total Effects is definitely a HIT!

The most noticeable result seemed to be that it was able to minimize my pores and even out my skin tone which gave me the effect of a smoother, more supple complexion.



Because of the more than favorable effects, I was drawn to purchase the Olay Total Effects 20 gram bottle (PHP 349).

Although I've experienced all these wonderful results, one thing remained elusive--the skin brightening effect that I so desperately wanted.

That was when I decided to try Olay Natural White (PHP 79 per 20 gram tube).



A quick swatch test shows that both Olay products have similar color and consistency.



When it comes to results though, Olay Natural White has something extra to offer in terms of skin brightening.

Olay Natural White claims to:
  • Lighten over-all skin tone
  • Reduce appearance of dark spots
  • Help to increase skin renewal rate
  • Keep skin well moisturized 
  • Reduce skin dullness 
My Verdict after almost two months of use?
Olay Natural White is without doubt another HIT!

I experienced similar results as to the time that I used Olay Total Effects such as minimized pores, even skin tone, more supple texture plus the skin brightening effect that I wanted marked with a more luminous complexion.

Mixing Olay Total Effects & Olay Natural White?
Just in case, you're thinking of combining the two in one go, DON'T!

I tried applying the Natural White over Total Effects for 5 days, but experienced tiny breakouts as a result.

It was quite intriguing that I garnered the positive results I wanted when I used just one Olay product at a time over a period of several weeks.

Of course, what works for me might not work for you as well.

If you want to try both products though, purchase the trial packs to help you save money just in case your skin doesn't go well with Olay.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Voki Avatar Inviting You To Vote for The Puerto Princesa Underground River Until November 11, 2011!

With an an unbelievably beautiful limestone landscape that features an 8.2 kilometer long underground river, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park deserves a spot in the New 7 Wonders of the World.



Text PPUR and send to 2862.


                         Vote for the Puerto Princesa Underground River right here.


Or simply click on the photo above to be directed to the website where you can cast your vote.

Here's my Voki Avatar inviting you once again to vote for the  Puerto Princesa Underground River.


Next: Multiple Musings: An Hommage to the 19 Fallen Soldiers in Basilan, Mining at the Banaue Rice Terraces & the Puerto Princesa Underground River's Bid For A Spot in the New 7 Wonders of the World List

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Multiple Musings: An Hommage to the Fallen Soldiers in Basilan; Deadly Mining at the Banaue Rice Terraces & the Puerto Princesa Underground River's Bid For Inclusion to the New 7 Wonders of the World

I know that this entry is a rare deviation from my usual spectrum of blog posts. You see, I've envisioned this blog to be a sweet diversion from life's sometimes dramatic and tragic twists. But tragedy as it seems is always a part of life, something that we can never really run from. For some reason, I've been thinking about our men in uniform for the past few months. I can't help but feel a little guilty about their sacrifices so that we as a nation can enjoy peace on a daily basis.

It was rather timely when my good friend A introduced me to this foundation that takes care of our fallen soldiers' families. So when she asked me if I could donate my voice-over services for one of their ads, I said yes automatically. To be honest. I actually felt honored to become part of their vision in some way.
                     
Musing # 1: 19 FALLEN SOLDIERS IN BASILAN 

What's heart-wrenching about this particular tragedy was that half of these fallen soldiers were fresh graduates who were immediately flown to Basilan on their very first mission. Some of them have just finished their scuba diving certification if you can believe it. They were practically newbies in every sense of the word!Years ago, hard-core marines were usually assigned in Basilan where in turn, they used hard artillery to take over and secure the area against insurgents.

The result was less than promising. Although insurgents disappear for a time, they simply go back after the marines leave the place. I've heard from the grapevine that the military's tactics have changed drastically. Scout rangers are now in-charge and with their small platoons, undergo a cat and mouse game where our dear soldiers hunt the insurgents not just for days, but weeks until their mission is accomplished.

Just imagine how hard this particular undertaking is on their physical, emotional and mental health! If we as a people can take care of our soldiers' loved ones and families, then somehow, we can carry some of the burden for them. Let's not rest all our hope on grandstanding government officials who are corrupt to the core, calloused to truth and compassion. I can only hope though that the 5.2 billion budget allotted to to the AFP modernization program will do just that: modernize the military and not just the houses and cars of corrupt officials.

Musings # 2 & 3: Banaue Rice Terraces & Underground River


                                                      Photo by jonrawlinson

It was National Artist F. Sionil Jose who once said that the Banaue Rice Terraces, a 2000 year-old terraces which were carved into the mountains of  Ifugao by our indigenous tribes, is much more interesting than the Great Wall of China and Pyramids of EgyptFor the Banaue Rice Terraces were made by freemen, not slaves, and offer life-giving food to humans since they are not just empty bricks or tombs for the dead. However, the onset of our most recent typhoons have destroyed part of this Eighth Wonder of the World. According to the news, it is still PHP 5 million short for some needed repairs.



Somehow I find it ironic that certain organizations, both government and private, are willing to award up to PHP 25 million worth of cash prizes just so our PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER can win its bid for inclusion to the New 7 Wonders Of The World! 


                         Vote for the Puerto Princesa Underground River right here.

Don't get me wrong.I want the PP Underground River to win! In fact, I even made this promo just to show my support.


But I also want us to take responsibility in our other national heritage sites. For if we can neglect the Banaue Rice Terraces right now it won't be impossible that we will do the same to the Underground River in the near future.

MINING AT THE BANAUE RICE TERRACES?


With the signing of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, 400 mining agreements have already been awarded by the government to several contractors. But the right question would be, who in his right mind would agree that mining be done at the Banaue Rice Terraces? Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if Sec. Nereus Acosta, Presidential Advisor on Environmental Protection, won't know anything about it, judging from his clueless reaction  in a recent episode of Reporter's Notebook, when Maki Pulido showed him a footage of mining's ill-effects in Surigao del Norte.

How about you, what do you think should be done to address these issues?


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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Take A Peek At My Super Cheap Haul From BOOKSALE

One thing is consistent though.

I never fail to visit BOOKSALE everytime there's a mall-wide sale.

It seems to be the most logical and cheapest solution there is to building up another collection after my whole library got submerged during Typhoon Ondoy a couple of years ago.

During my last visit to this store, I rummaged through the books with random precision lest someone else gets the book I really really want.

My recent haul proved once again that I'm a serious health nut at heart.

Read on and you'll understand what I'm talking about.



8 Weeks To Optimum Health (Php 180). 

In 1996, I discovered Dr. Andrew Weil through his column in PREVENTION, my most favorite magazine in the world.

Since that time, Dr. Weil's holistic approach to health has gripped my interest and so it is only natural that I grab this classic when I saw it that day.

The Sonoma Diet (Php 50).

Truth is, I had my eye on this book for a really long time but didn't have the courage to actually buy it.

So when I saw it that day, I immediately reached for it and put it on top of my pile of great finds.



Fit To Live (Php 15).

Pamela Peeke is another familiar columnist in PREVENTION who specializes in women's health and nutrition particularly for those hitting the big 40 soon!

Dianne Iron's 14 Day Boot Camp (Php 45).

To be honest, I'm not really familiar with Ms. Irons at all but I thought that her book looks interesting though because of the word Boot Camp.

It sort of gave me a vision of a better self in just 2 weeks. LOL.



The Perricone Prescription (Php 15).

In 2006, two years before I got pregnant, I 've already read this book from cover to cover.

And it did not disappoint.

The Perricone Promise (Php15).

When I saw its twin publication, I didn't hesitate in buying it.

Why wouldn't I if I could have it for practically a steal!



Get With The Program (Php15).

I call myself a Bob Greene convert ever since I read his bestseller Make the Connection more than a decade ago.

I had this Get to the Program book pre-Typhoon Ondoy but I didn't get the chance to finish it.

It was a great thing that I was able to find it during the sale so that I can once again bask in a wealth of information from this great exercise physiologist slash celebrity trainer turned bestselling author.

The South Beach Diet (Php 25).

Another pre-Typhoon Ondoy favorite that's why it has to be included in my new collection.

Two years before I got pregnant, I decided to put the book to the test by following its core principles.

The result?

I lost an astounding 12 pounds in just two weeks!

Unfortunately, I've become allergic to most proteins like fish, chicken and eggs afterwards.

But I still follow Dr. Agatston's advice of choosing good carbs over the bad ones and has once again experienced wonderful results in my weight loss journey after giving birth to Tutapel.



The Oprah Magazine Back Issue (Php 30).

This mag continues to be one of the most inspiring publications to date because of Oprah's mission of encouraging women to know their true worth and in the process discover a life filled with meaning and hope.

In Style Back Issue (Php 30).

This is my go-to fashion magazine because of its uniquely crafted articles that speak to women of all shapes and sizes.



Sparkling Magazine Back Issue (PHP150).

As a K-Pop and K-Drama addict, this particular publication satietes my craving for my favorite artists by bringing the Hallyu wave alive at every turn of the page.

Do check out these publications sometime soon on your next visit to BOOKSALE.

Happy reading!

Next: Review: DMAE Alpha Lipoic C Ester Retexturizing Cream

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Delicious Binggrae Afternoon Plus A Peek at Sparkling Magazine's Fly to Seoul! All the Travel Info You Need To Know Article

Despite the rains, I am able to have a sparkling afternoon filled with all my favorite Korean trinkets:



A few days ago, I bought a back issue of Sparkling Magazine Philippine Edition (PHP 150) published by Summit Media.

When I saw one of its teaser articles entitled Fly to Seoul! All the Travel Info You Need To Know-I found it hard to put the magazine down.

If you are a K-Pop and K-Drama fan like me, you would be most interested to read it too.

Although I've already made my own itinerary as a direct result of stalking travel blogs and Facebook profiles, I thought that it wouldn't hurt to learn more about my dream destination.



The article is both exhaustive and fun to read.



Filled with all the things one wants to know about Seoul ranging from visa requirements...












...to splendid sights in Seoul, the magazine is a definite must-have for any K-Pop slash K-Drama addict!



Binggrae's Smoky Bacon Flavored Chips (around Php 30) seemed to be the perfect munchies when you're having a great time reading and dreaming at the same time.



It was quite surprising to me that the chips are not as salty as I've expected them to be which is a definite plus point.

Even those ultra-flavorful powdery granules that usually settled at the bottom of the package are nowhere to be seen!

Well, I regard that as both a positive and a negative for I usually delight in the simple pleasure of eating those granules that usually stick to my fingers.



I washed down my favorite munchies with a couple of Binggrae A Cafe La Premium Coffee: Caffe Latte and Vanilla Latte (around Php 60 each).

For a non-coffee drinker, I was surprised to have finished these two in one sitting!

Although I really like coffee, I don't indulge much because I get palpitations and become super hyper afterwards.

And I really don't need a quick pick me up for I'm naturally hyper even without caffeine.

Well, I guess, this afternoon is a little bit different.

For I'm most definitely sure that it's not just the caffeine that's making my heart beat incredibly faster; but the dream of Korea that continues to sparkle in my heart of hearts.


Next: Alone Time at a Korean Grocery


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